Clear Lake

Ultimate 4wd destination: Clear Lake

Clear Lake is a high alpine turquoise lake at an elevation of 3.653m (11,984ft) above the sea level, located  in San Juan County, Southwest Colorado, in United States. Be sure to have experience in back roads if you attempt this trail.

The road to the lake is called Forest Road 815 (Clear Lake Road). Avoid driving in this area if unpaved mountain roads aren't your strong point. Stay away if you're scared of heights. It is recommended that beginner riders avoid this road. It’s a 4.4 mile long drive starting outside Silverton. Only 4WD vehicles. It’s one of the highest mountain roads in Colorado. The surface of the road is gravel and bumpy with embedded rocks. It’s a favorite drive for its beauty and its gorgeous wildflower and waterfall access. With such a high summit altitude the road can be closed anytime due to snowfalls. The zone is prone to heavy mist and can be dangerous in low visibility conditions. The road is very narrow, steep, and with several tight switchbacks. The trail has steep drop offs that are scary for a novice. At the summit there is plenty of designated parking, so do not park on the grass.

The road is totally impassable from October to June. It’s a real challenging road and a true test of your vehicle and your stamina because the road abounds in twists and turns with wheels sometimes hanging above the precipice. The road is very steep. It’s a hairy ascent to the magical lake in the basin above. This is not for the faint of heart. The reward at the top is worth the back-sweating and neck-craning though. 
Pic:&video Jay Smith


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